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Subject: Best starting Cthulhu Mythos game rss

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Jules Redmand
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Looking to get into Lovecraft themed games and to say that I'm overawed by the amount of Cthulhu themed games out there would be an understatement. I've recently purchased a large book on Lovecraft's works and looking for a game/games to get into this world and so any types of suggestions of where to start and why that would be great and much appreciated.

My criteria is pretty broad in general

1. Makes no difference if it is board game or card game
2. Preferably should have expansions that are still coming out
3. Scenario length is not important and neither is set-up time
3. BUT MOST Importantly needs to be solitaire friendly.

Have put this post in a couple of sections to try and get the best feedback.
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Alexander Crews
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If solo and story are your primary concern, I'd recommend Mansions of Madness as your starting point. Plays really well on your own and has a huge emphasis on atmosphere and story.

I'd also suggest getting the Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia as a quick reference for things you experience and encounter to help get you more initiated into the world.

https://www.amazon.com/Cthulhu-Mythos-Encyclopedia-Daniel-Ha...

Hope that helps!
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Jules Redmand
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thefilmcrews wrote:
If solo and story are your primary concern, I'd recommend Mansions of Madness as your starting point. Plays really well on your own and has a huge emphasis on atmosphere and story.

I'd also suggest getting the Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia as a quick reference for things you experience and encounter to help get you more initiated into the world.

https://www.amazon.com/Cthulhu-Mythos-Encyclopedia-Daniel-Ha...

Hope that helps!


Mansions of Madness is one of the recs high on my list and that Encylopedia looks to be essential reading thanks
 
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Phil
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If you'd like something on the lighter side, Elder Sign is a lot fun. It has expansions available and is solitaire friendly.
 
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(ɹnʎʞ)
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Let's start the lightest game in my list of recommendations: Elder Sign. Elder Sign is in my opinion a gateway Ameritrash game, but can absolutely still be enjoyable to veterans of the hobby. If you like it, definitely get the expansion Elder Sign: Gates of Arkham -- seriously, it brings some drastic but excellent changes and additions to the game, makes it harder and even more thematic. The only downside: the expansion also adds a bit more complexity.

Elder Sign was featured on ►TableTop.



Eldritch Horror is my favourite Lovecraftian game, but it's best balanced with 4 players/characters. I often played it with 2 players, each controlling 2 characters, which is very manageable, but I think having more than 2 characters could be quite exhausting, since you have to keep track of your character's equipment and conditions plus the game is quite lenghty.

Eldritch Horror will be featured in the next season of TableTop.



I can't comment on Mansions of Madness: Second Edition yet, but I heard very good things about it. Note that it requires a companion app.



Arkham Horror: The Card Game will be available soon and could probably be the best recommendation. If you know The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, it's based on that system, but puts more focus on storytelling, connected scenarios and dealing with consequences within these scenarios.


In terms of mechanisms, I will sum it up this way:

Elder Sign if you like dice.
Eldritch Horror if you like strategy and storytelling.
Mansions of Madness 2 if you like dungeon crawlers and storytelling.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game if you like card games, pre-game deck construction and storytelling.


One last thing: if you need a compact introduction into the Lovecraft mythos, feel free to check my blog entry ►Instant insanity: My 5-minute introduction to H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. I wrote it with the intention to provide people with the basics in a brief way so that these games make a bit more sense to them.

Good luck with your research, have fun and stay sane !

PS: This thread belongs in the ►Recommendations area.
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Benny Bosmans
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I love Eldritch Horror the most.

Best story telling and very manageable in solo play with 2 investigators.

A real challenge. Buy the first expansion after a few plays. Do not go for too many expansions though as the gaming fun does not really need it and it makes things more complicated without adding more fun.

Elder Sign is good too, but less story telling and not as deep.

MoM1>MoM2 because a human Keeper is always better and MoM2 is way too mechanical. It is also more a monster basher than a Lovecraft tale. I LIKE App asisted games like XCom the boardgame, but I didn't really like MoM2... Perhaps because I enjoyed MoM1 so much, helas MoM1 has no decent solo mode...

Since EH has also the best rule book of FFG EVER. It really is not so hard to chose it as first choice either.

AH is good too, but a little too old in mechanics and much too difficult for a new player in solo mode. Once you played EH enough it could be worthwhile to purchase AH instead of just collecting more EH expansions.

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Chris
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Eldritch Horror is my favorite for immersion in Lovecraft lore and adventure. If you have read many of his stories you will recognize creatures and locations which are woven into the numerous encounters in the game. The base set will seem repetitive after a few plays without the first expansion, "Forsaken Lore". (It basically completes the game's base set. The title is a big clue of that.)

The base set of Elder Sign reminds me of an expanded "Yahtzee" game, with some flavor text thrown in. Kind of fun, but the specific expansion "Gates of Arkham" enhances gameplay, which others have likened to almost an "Arkham Horror Lite".

Also, fwiw, I find The Cards of Cthulhu a fun change of pace. You work through a deck, countering opponents with dice and resources. There's no real story or depth, and it feels a bit like "Solitaire" (Patience), but some of us find it good, light solo fun.


Ben_Bos wrote:
MoM1>MoM2 because a human Keeper is always better and MoM2 is way too mechanical.

Mansions of Madness 1's downfall was that it had a huge setup time and basically required one player to be the GM (a GM being a person to run the game, not compete against the other players). In effect, it requires two players to play the game "solo". While that isn't a bad thing in and of itself, MoM2 has been flying off the shelves and getting tons more gameplay by comparison.
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Jules Redmand
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Kyur thanks for the info and your Cthulhu Mythos link into Lovecraft briefly and what to read etc, it's much appeciated.

I've decided to start with Elder Sign as my intro with Mansions of Madness and the Arkham card game as my other two Cthulhu games for now.
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Wolfie
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The original Arkham Horror makes for excellent solo play. Though it is probably the heaviest game of these suggestions, and may not be the best place to start, it does play very differently from the other games, and has its own unique flavor. While Eldritch Horror focuses on globe spanning adventure, Arkham focuses on the spooky towns of New England (Arkham, Dunwich, Kingsport and Innsmouuth).



Several excellent solo playthroughs are available on YouTube. Check out Catweazle's here:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=catweazle+arkha...
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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Personally, a lot of the appeal for me in Eldritch Horror is its global scope.

I love that I can be solving mysteries at the Pyramids while one of my partners is researching spells at Arkham and another two are fighting horrifying creatures and closing gates in South America. To me, it just feels like there's more at stake when the whole world is involved.
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Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
Personally, a lot of the appeal for me in Eldritch Horror is its global scope.

I love that I can be solving mysteries at the Pyramids while one of my partners is researching spells at Arkham and another two are fighting horrifying creatures and closing gates in South America. To me, it just feels like there's more at stake when the whole world is involved.

Very true. In comparison, Arkham Horror brings a more claustrophobic and creepy feeling to the table, as the game focuses on that one infamous city. The Mansions of Madness games have an even denser atmosphere.

Anyway, great choice to start out with Elder Sign, Jules. thumbsup

Feel free to report back and tell us if you liked the games !
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Andrew Walmsley
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Dawn Raider wrote:
Looking to get into Lovecraft themed games and to say that I'm overawed by the amount of Cthulhu themed games out there would be an understatement. I've recently purchased a large book on Lovecraft's works and looking for a game/games to get into this world and so any types of suggestions of where to start and why that would be great and much appreciated.

My criteria is pretty broad in general

1. Makes no difference if it is board game or card game
2. Preferably should have expansions that are still coming out
3. Scenario length is not important and neither is set-up time
3. BUT MOST Importantly needs to be solitaire friendly.

Have put this post in a couple of sections to try and get the best feedback.

If you want to learn about the mythos theme and environment then I think a great place to start would be the newly released Mythos Tales, a Cthulhu version of Sherlock Homes Consulting Detective. This will ease you into the universe while still being easy to read and understand. Because of the nature of an investigative game you'll end up getting a lot background knowledge and lore (it's set in Arkham) from the map and stories without any confusing complexity. It's going to have new cases released for it, takes about 90 mins to play and is absolutely perfect for playing solitaire. It's also a really good game, give it a look!

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/126100/mythos-tales
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Sebastian Beck
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I would suggest you to check out Arkham Horror. Not only is this game a classic it is even more the Most authentic Lovecraft board game. Dozens of dozens of story pieces or characters correspond with Lovecraft stories. It is the darkest of all These games which really let you feel the doom of the mythos.

As good as the others games are - nothing beats Arkham Horror according to depth and Lovecraftian atmosphere.

Arkham with the Innsmouth expansion is like reliving The Shadow over Innsmouth.

goo
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Beckikaze wrote:
I would suggest you to check out Arkham Horror. Not only is this game a classic it is even more the Most authentic Lovecraft board game. Dozens of dozens of story pieces or characters correspond with Lovecraft stories. It is the darkest of all These games which really let you feel the doom of the mythos. [...]

While I agree that it is one of the darkest games, I disagree that it is the most authentic. Some of Lovecraft's most popular stories do indeed take place all around the world and outside the USA (Call of Cthulhu, At the Mountains of Madness).
 
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From my own experience with mythos games ranked by frequency:

1 - Pandemic : Reign of Cthulhu. My everyday game, looks good, plays fast and enjoyable. High score on every point except theme which is light.

2 - Elder Sign : Looks good, plays relatively fast and relatively enjoyable. Theme gets better with expansions.

3 - Cards of Cthulhu : Fast, brutal, very light theme. For those days I want a quick game or variety.

4 - Eldritch Horror. The game is growing on me but I still find the going way too slow, however that means more theme and depth but it starts feels too much like work to play often. I only play it on week ends and sessions are far between. Expansions add good things but also add to the fiddliness. Splendid material but takes too much table space (worse with Arkham Horror)

5 - Arkham Horror. The first I got and my greatest memories but too fiddly in the end and couldn't spare the time to enjoy correctly. The only game in the list I sold. Definitely recommend to anyone who has the time to play it though.

6 - Cthulhu Hastur La Vista : Good for playing with non gamers, like Zombies. Otherwise not bad but not really good either.

Arkham horror LCG I just ordered and Cthulhu Realms is still unopened on my shelf (not expecting too much here).
 
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Freelance Police
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Mythos Tales. The game design is like Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. It's setup friendly in that it's a book. The first case is also free. See the Mythos Tales Kickstarter page.
 
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Jules Redmand
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Kyur wrote:
Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
Personally, a lot of the appeal for me in Eldritch Horror is its global scope.

I love that I can be solving mysteries at the Pyramids while one of my partners is researching spells at Arkham and another two are fighting horrifying creatures and closing gates in South America. To me, it just feels like there's more at stake when the whole world is involved.

Very true. In comparison, Arkham Horror brings a more claustrophobic and creepy feeling to the table, as the game focuses on that one infamous city. The Mansions of Madness games have an even denser atmosphere.

Anyway, great choice to start out with Elder Sign, Jules. thumbsup

Feel free to report back and tell us if you liked the games !


Been playing Elder Signs for a few sessions now and really enjoying my introduction into the world of Cthulhu with one of its lighter games. Also have read Dagon which was a story I already knew and currently reading through the Dunwich Horror which has now got me hooked on the whole thing and I've also got hold of the Cthulhu Mythos Encylopedia which adds depth to everything
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Dawn Raider wrote:
Been playing Elder Signs for a few sessions now and really enjoying my introduction into the world of Cthulhu with one of its lighter games. Also have read Dagon which was a story I already knew and currently reading through the Dunwich Horror which has now got me hooked on the whole thing and I've also got hold of the Cthulhu Mythos Encylopedia which adds depth to everything



The Dunwich Horror is my favourite, everything you expect from a Lovecraftian tale plus a few unexpected twists...

Glad to hear that you are having a great time ! thumbsup
 
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